The Psycho Donut Debate

You have to be kind of crazy to make fun of all things crazy. Well, there is a donut shop doing just that.

Psycho Donuts is in Campbell, California, in the San Francisco bay area. Employees of Psycho Donuts wear lab coats and nursing outfits. The donut shop boasts a padded booth, a strait jacket, and a group therapy area. Specialty donuts offered at Psycho Donuts include the Bipolar, the Psycho, and Massive Head Trauma.

The donut shop is said to have, after just a few short months in existence, created a small but loyal cult like following

Mental health advocates have protested this donut shop. Protesters have surrounded the shop, and demanded city officials close it down. Talks have also been planned between shop owners and advocates, but these talks haven’t materialized as of yet.

The owners of the donut shop have always maintained that if one doesn’t like what they are doing, one can always feed elsewhere.

Recently one of the owners of the shop and a mental health advocate went head to head in a televised debate. Oscar Wright, chief executive of United Advocates for Children and Families, and co-owner of Psycho Donuts, Kip Berdiansky, gave interviews and had it out with each other on KTVU’s People of The Bay Area hosted by Rosy Chu.

Some area advocate groups thought this debate only served to give more exposure to, and act as free advertizing for, Psycho Donuts.

Oscar Wright just released a statement , accusing the owners of Psycho Donuts of trivializing the seriousness of mental illness by naming a donut after Bipolar disorder. He also accused the owners of misunderstanding and abusing medical terminology as well as furthering stigma. He seems to think that many people who should seek treatment don’t do so because there is some kind of stigma associated with that treatment.

He asked the owners of Psycho Donuts to work with the mental health community rather than offering a product that ridicules it.

I have a different take on this whole matter. Bad laws, drug companies, hospitals, and doctors are destroying the lives of some very real people every day of the week. Bad laws are forcing damaging treatment on people who don’t need that treatment. Drug companies are profiting from coersive and unsafe practices while expanding their markets. Doctors are labeling people, prescribing harmful drugs, and creating an epidemic of mental illness. Hospitals are locking people up, doping people up, and violating their human rights. Why protest a donut shop? What donut shop ever did that?